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Model Trucks And Their Rise In Popularity

Aug 13, 2008
Have you or anyone you know ever built a model truck? If they have then they have had a part in keeping alive a hobby that has been around for many years. Model trucks are not only for those who love to build them. There are many avid collectors who love to build up their model collections. Have you wondered how a hobby with such a following ever get started?

As a gimmick, banks in the nineteen forties began to hand out model trucks that were actually banks. Made by a company named Banthrico these first die cast models were hollow and had a slit in the top for customers to drop their loose change into for safe keeping. Available in many different models, these banks normally had the bank's information printed on the roof of the cab or on the bed. These printed model trucks are still in very high demand today by collectors. Not too much later a company named PMC (Plastic Manufacturing Corporation) began to make a plastic version that was available to the public. The scale of the models at this time varied between 1:25th and 1:20th.

World War II saw drastic changes in the new model building hobby. As metal became scarce due to the war effort new hobbyists saw the birth of model building kits that were produced from both wood and plastics. Ace and Berkley were the first to produce these wooden model kits but not too much later the first true plastic car kit came into being. Made by the company Revell, one of the world leaders in hobby kits, the first plastic model was actually conceived by Derk Brand. Mr. Brand, from England, had previously created a line of 1/32 model kits for the Gowland Brothers. A few years later saw the birth of both friction and coaster cars that were used by auto salesmen in order to appeal to the parents of noisy children while their parents car shopped. Most of these were built by companies named AMT and SMP. Most of these all came already assembled.

Coming out of the fifties and into the sixties model building really took off. Several different model makers began production of their own lines and this time became known as a hay-day for hobbyists. From Revell to AMT and from Jo-Han to Monogram many different model makers began to finally produce the model kits with which we are familiar today. These kits came unassembled and were usually copies of the actual trucks that rolled off the production line at the beginning of the production year. Complete down to the smallest details these trucks were normally produced on a 1/25th scale.

Once model building reached the seventies the hobby began to decline. Other pastimes rose up to take the place of model building and many builders began to grow up and change hobbies. With the rise of the video game came a further decline in model building as a hobby though the late 80's did see some renewed interest thanks to the partnership of Monogram and NASCAR. The hobby has enjoyed a new lease on life thanks to some magazines that came into publication as well. Maybe not as strong as it once was the model building industry is still alive and well today.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for model cars, model trains, and model trucks. You will find excellent hobbying and trading resources here for model car enthusiasts, model trains, and model truck kits.
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